czwartek, 20 września 2012

1349 "Hellfire" [NOR 2005]

That's an album I couldn't convince myself to for a long time. Even though I liked 'Nathicana' when I heard it on some pre-release compilation and I even though I really enjoyed the album's first track I wasn't able to listen it through to the end. I did today while walking around Chwarzno woods and here's is what I think of it. You need to conjure a certain state of mind while listening to this music, cause it's quite difficult to listen when unprepared. 1349's 'Hellfire' consists mainly of a really fast paced tempos (Satyricon's Frost on drums) and lenghty, looping, traditional riffing. This riffing may create an atmosphere of stuporing boredom at first but I am a living example that it is possible to overcome that barrier and enjoy the album completely. First of all - don't listen to it while doing something else. Devote some time and you'll gain a lot, cause this is fresh air among old school black metal bands. 1349 are traditionalists, yet they manage to fill their music with a certain progressive elements that the genre really needs after around 30 years of existence. I do not mean that they use female vocals or similar stuff often shunned at in BM. All they do is they think how to use guitars in more sophisticated a way, how to insert some quite untypical elements not softening or overcomplexing the general brutal, straight-forward whole. 'Hellfire' rips through flesh and bones like a chainsaw, yet it's a brand new chainsaw they just purchased few minutes ago and with some nicely shaped leafs too. I try not tu use words like 'new' or 'progress' here trying to avoid some negative connotations. Allow me then assure you that in the context of this album the 'taboo' words above are totally positive. I'm not even sure if this may be called 'progress', yet in a music as orthodox and archaic as black metal every little step forward may as well become a mile. 'Damn', I thought today, 'this shit is 100% Norwegian black metal.' And that's right. BUT - this is what I'd like the genre's future bands to look and sound like in the millenia to come. This is a kind of, OK here it goes, 'progression' that even orthodox fans are gonna like because it's not 'gay' etc., it's simply well thought over and aptly introduced. New ideas, new motives, the same old rusty knife piercing your guts. A fresh and curious approach to the same old standard riff/blast/scream structure we know already. And these few sparks burn like a hellfire after long periods of cooling down. This CD is like a raging storm. Try it out and you won't be disappointed but try to feel it rather than push play and prepare supper.

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